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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    206

    Default

    Wow, thank you so much for that information! I had no idea I was paying for such ridiculous mark-ups in the US.



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2008
    Posts
    384

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImJumpin View Post
    If you can "use" the saddle, the duty would be less. Many people who go to Germany to buy cars will take them for a spin before having them shipped over so they are considered used when the ship over.
    You don't save that much buying a car and driving it over there. The days of saving lots of money are long gone. I've done it before. You have to buy a U.S. spec car with the emissions and safety features. You save maybe $500 on a car. The big savings come from the $1,000 or more a week it would cost to rent the car you just bought. Luxury/Sports cars are expensive to rent in Europe.

    I wouldn't want to "make" a brand new saddle look used just to save $100 or so. Packages coming from individuals are much more likely to be opened and inspected.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2003
    Posts
    5,557

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dun Ciarain View Post
    You don't save that much buying a car and driving it over there. The days of saving lots of money are long gone. I've done it before. You have to buy a U.S. spec car with the emissions and safety features. You save maybe $500 on a car. The big savings come from the $1,000 or more a week it would cost to rent the car you just bought. Luxury/Sports cars are expensive to rent in Europe.

    I wouldn't want to "make" a brand new saddle look used just to save $100 or so. Packages coming from individuals are much more likely to be opened and inspected.
    If the item is used once, and she declares it as a used item, that's not an invalid customs declaration and she has done nothing illegal.

    If she flies it back with her ON THE PLANE it's not subject to being opened or not, you show it at customs and say it's used. And yes, using the item once or twice in France can save you substantially on customs fees.

    Cars are a little different as there are DOT laws and taxes involved, but I've imported many saddles and never had a problem.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2008
    Posts
    384

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alterageous View Post
    If the item is used once, and she declares it as a used item, that's not an invalid customs declaration and she has done nothing illegal.

    If she flies it back with her ON THE PLANE it's not subject to being opened or not, you show it at customs and say it's used. And yes, using the item once or twice in France can save you substantially on customs fees.

    Cars are a little different as there are DOT laws and taxes involved, but I've imported many saddles and never had a problem.
    The OP stated that they were going to be going on a trip, ordering it when they are there and having a friend ship it back. I don't know what Devoucoux's turn time for making a saddle is, but unless the OP is going to be spending a couple of months over there, they won't be bringing it back on the plane.

    I have ordered directly from Antares in France before because they weren't selling the darker brown boots with buckles in the U.S. - which is strange because the U.S. outfit and the French factory are owned and run by the same people.



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2003
    Posts
    5,557

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    I don't see why she can't order it now and pick it up there which would certainly make the process easier. Especially if she hs a french contact who can do the ordering.



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2007
    Posts
    370

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    I was going to order it now and hopefully it will be ready when we are there in July. If it gets ready early I can have my friend pick it up for me or they can just hold it there. I wasn't sure if Devoucoux would sell to an American to ship back here due to the prices. That is the only reason I mentioned the French connection.

    I could carry it back on the plane but was wondering about the duty for that. Anyone know? I'll probably have to talk to customs tomorrow.



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    15,468

    Default

    Duty = 2.8%



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2005
    Posts
    230

    Default Not a Devoucoux, but still from France

    Maybe this will help from firsthand experience. My husband and I went to Paris in November 2001 (actually got engaged while we were there ). I bought an original brand new Delgrange Partition saddle while I was there. I actually wanted a Devoucoux, but didn't want to go out to Biarritz since we were staying in the city (didn't know as much about saddles then, sigh).

    I paid $1700 for a BRAND NEW Delgrange. I, too, was freaked out about the duty thing, having been told all kinds of horror stories by my local tack stores. The tack store in Paris wrapped the saddle for me in a box, carefully padded and taped. When we got to the airport (remember, this was only six weeks after 9/11), all they did was X-ray the box (kinda neat to see the tree of your saddle on x-ray), and then I was able to check it with no problems.

    When we got back to the US, I declared the full value of the saddle. I was a nervous wreck coming back through customs, until he told me how much duty I needed to pay - a whopping $47!!!!! :> All that worry for nothing. I don't know about the "used" bit - I didn't say anything like that - I just declared my saddle, and all was fine.

    Eight years later, and I can still sell my saddle for more than I paid for it - you simply can't beat the deal, even if the dollar is weaker than it was in 2001.

    Don't worry about the customs/duty part, and I wouldn't ship it, just bring it back with you. The airlines might charge you, since they now charge for checking luggage, but still totally worth it!!!!



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2007
    Posts
    370

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    Thank you for your story. I'm thinking that this is the way to go.



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2008
    Posts
    384

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    Where you go through customs also makes a difference. I've flown to Canada on business for 3 days and the customs agent wanted to go through my check register, yet I've flown back from Europe with a saddle plus three other bags and been waived right through - they didn't even ask if I had anything to declare.



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 1999
    Location
    South Coast Plaza
    Posts
    20,516

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    You can bring in $800 duty free from France; family members can combine their duty free allowance (so, for example, you and husband can do a combined $1600). And of course there is a customs declaration form that you must fill out. That is not optional.

    http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/va.../duty_free.xml

    Here's how duty breaks down:

    http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/va...aying_duty.xml
    EDDIE WOULD GO



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2006
    Posts
    1,875

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    The only reason any European seller can sell you the item tax-free is because you're supposed to declare it when you get it back here, and pay the corresponding Duty on it. More usually, however, you pay the tax upon purchase, and are given a form to complete and drop off at the departure airport listing your claims, and you'll receive a check in the mail or credit to your credit card if you used one (I think we can safely assume you should also buy a matching bridle, breastplate, and boots, right? )

    Having read about Devoucoux's slightly slippery customer service record here on CotH, you might want to get in writing from them that you will be purchasing the saddle for the tax-free price OR they will help you with the appropriate papers required to claim your tax rebate. Some stores/retailers do have a hefty "handling charge," aka gouging, for doing the paperwork, but it may still be worth it for you.

    If you decide to order your saddle now, I also recommend that you get confirmation from them in writing that the saddle will be finished and ready for you to pick up when you're there!



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2003
    Posts
    5,557

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    yes, but even the higher duty rate is still less than 19% VAT, and even with VAT included it's still cheaper!

    Yes, most retailers will not sell to you at the VAT-free rate unless you ship the item out of the country, but you can get the VAT refunded at the airport directly or by check.



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 1999
    Location
    Northern California Transplant To Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    314

    Default I did just that

    ten years ago. I ordered my Devoucoux through the Nor Cal rep, and then he arranged for me to pick it up in Biarritz ( at my request), as we were planning a trip to France and Spain. Just before coming home, we were staying with friends in Bilbao, Spain. We took a cab from Bilbao to Biarritz, France, which was fairly inexpensive...don't recall the details, but it wasn't a very long ride. The plan was to pick up the saddle at the factory, then fly to Paris...and then back home. By doing it this way, I saved about $800 in shipping costs.

    Now, this was the famous glitch where, unbeknownst to anyone, Jean Michael Devoucoux (the owner of the company) came into the shop the night before we were to come get the saddle, and by mistake, took my saddle with him to Rome...where he was heading to deliver saddles at the WEG that was held in Rome that year. So, when I got to the factory, my saddle was en route to Rome! The factory manager was horrified, and very nice about the mistake. They not only shipped the saddle to me for free (after it came home from it's little journey to Rome), but included a free pair of stirrup leathers. So the end result was that I saved the $800, didn't have to deal with the saddle myself while flying home, paid no import costs or taxes, and got some new leathers as a bonus. What was there not to like!

    So...go for it. I can't promise the bonus I got as compensation for the saddle's trip to Rome, but you will at least save quite a bit of money by bringing it in ourself.

    BTW...I love the saddle. After ten years of use by a pro, the poor thing was pretty worn out, so I sent it to New Jersey for a "retread", and had everything (tree, seat, flaps, billets) replaced but the seat panels, which were in good condition. For the cost of $2500, I now have a virtually new saddle...and this is way cheaper than buying a new one as a replacement. When my saddle came home from New Jersey, and I sat in it for the first time, it felt absolutely great, and I absolutely love it once again. I was 58 when I bought it, and it took ten years to wear it out. I figure that it will take me 15 years to wear it out now...hey...I will be in my eighties before I need to worry about this again!



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